A shorter version of this trip (3 hours / easy walk) will consist of vehicular transportation to the Pumamarca Fortress and a hike on the Inca Trail.
Duration: 3-5 hs
Start time: 9am
Suitable for: All ages
We leave Las Qolqas at 9 am walking along the Patacancha River for approximately five kilometers, ascending 500 meters, from 2900 to 3,400 meters above sea level. The trail takes us along the agricultural terraces of Musqa Pukyo and the village of Pallata. Then, we will begin the ascent to Pumamarca, a pre-Inca fortress dating from approximately 900 AD, probably built by the Wari culture. Pumamarca is a fortified citadel on top of a hill that overlooks the Patacancha valley. It is strategically positioned to defend Ollantaytambo from the eastern approaches, which lead to the jungle.
The complex consists of Chulpas (grain storage towers), military observation posts, a central square flanked by buildings for religious and monarchical use, and a grid-shaped city plan with buildings of various shapes and uses.
After approximately one hour of exploration in the Fortress, we will begin the return along the Qhapaq Ñan (Imperial Inca Trail), which will take us past the Inca irrigation channels and the Chocobamba terraces.
We will stop for a picnic on the way and then finish the walk at the Inca platforms of Media Luna (“Media Luna”), which are terraces with beautiful shapes that resemble medical and eating utensils, as well as tools for agricultural use.